Saxophonist John Burgess is launching a series of monthly concerts in the Outhouse Bar in Broughton Street Lane to celebrate the great jazz pioneers.

Beginning on Thursday, February 4, the first three concerts will focus on Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke (March 3) and Jelly Roll Morton (April 14).

Haddington-based Burgess is one of Scotland’s most versatile musicians, having worked in music across the board and played every form of jazz from early New Orleans and Chicago styles with the Nova Scotia Jazz Band through ballads and swing with his So in Love quartet and on to free improvisation with the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra.

A professional since 1987, he has shared bandstands with Roy Williams, Warren Vache, Digby Fairweather, Harry Beckett, Alan Skidmore, Jim Mullen, Zoe Rahman, and Stan Sulzmann among many others and studied with George Garzone, Jerry Bergonzi and Don Lanphere.

The new series will feature the recently formed John Burgess Classic Jazz Quintet, with Burgess on clarinet as well as saxophones, Ross Milligan on banjo and guitar, Campbell Normand on piano, Bill Brydon on string bass, and Tom Bancroft on drums.

“We want to avoid idle, slavish recreations of past gems and modern reworkings of the greats,” says Burgess, whose Edinburgh Jazz Festival 2015 was one of the event’s most popular attractions. “Instead, we’re playing the music of these early jazz greats in their own way, which is something of which we think Louis Armstrong in particular would have very much approved.”

Submitted by Rob Adams